I actually wanted to be working on another quilt which fell out of the sky ( well my one and only fabric shelf in my room as most of my workroom is still packed away awaiting the completion of the shed one day in my dreams...). I had got together all the bits, sorted out what i wanted to do but forgot that at the moment most of my basting pins are in a big forrest quilt which I pinned during the year ( but which is too big for Syria so has been left for a later date) and in the banksia quilt I had been working on. I was anxious to get on with the new idea but will have to finish the banksia quilt first. All the quilts I am making for Syria are between 60-80cm wide and between 130-150 cm long as most of the spac ein the gallery is long narrow spaces.
I always like how the stitching changes the banksia quilts- and in a sense they are really more embroidery than anything else.I often multi layer the thread on the banksia flowers but decided to leave these simply stitched with gold thread. Most of the "Australian" quilts I have made are about my place- the things that surround me, I guess to evoke sense of place and i also wanted to represent banksias in a number of different guises- I still have one to go- and perhaps another if time will allow. Which started me thinking about "series" .Are these banksia ( and I have made a number over the years ) a series? Yes the flower is usually represented in the same way with the embroidery ( though that has started to change of late) but each quilt is quite distinctly different- either through the background fabric ( which i dye with quite a lot of deliberation) the printing that I use and off course colour and then size and even whether I border them. I am not sure - I have never thought of them in that way, as I make them as needs be- if I have an exhibition I always have one banksia quilt because it for me represents home more than anything and then also Australia.
And because I am sitting and sewing and the mind wanders, i dwelt on another thing that was said to me whilst doing my masters by one of the supervisors- that quilts were easy for me and that therefore I wasn't pushing hard enough. I have long pondered this comment- i should have asked where should I push to? And then are quilts easy? I know I make very few quilts which don't have layers of meaning- there is the readily apparent surface but some of it involves personal symbolism, a story- there is often a lot of emotion in my quilts- where do you push to? And whilst i am on this train it was also said I should use the process of weathering destruction and aging and wearing/tearing away, but by nature I am a builder, I build from the bottom up starting with white cloth- making the dye sing is an exciting process for me and then nutting out how to best use that piece of fabric- I accrue steps along the way to build what I am doing- i don't tear away unless it aids the building process. It's almost like I start with the blank page visually though with some thought about ideas and brain storm in the dye bath and build a mind map and go from there. Somehow this process was questioned in what i was doing. I would be interested in what other people think about how they " emerge" their work and how they approach their work.